الأحد , يونيو 14 2020

'Soviet Taliban' convicted in US

Irek Hamidullin surrenders to US troops in Afghanistan in 2009

Irek Hamidullin was seized in 2009 after an attack on Afghan border police and US forces

A former Soviet army officer has been convicted by a US jury of planning and leading a Taliban attack on American forces in Afghanistan in 2009.

The jury in Richmond, Virginia, found Irek Hamidullin guilty on all 15 counts, including providing material support to terrorists.

The 55-year-old is the first military prisoner from Afghanistan to be tried in civilian court.

Hamidullin – who did not testify during the trial – now faces life in prison.

His sentencing is expected on 6 November.

Held at Bagram

The jury reached its verdict after five days of testimony and eight hours of deliberations.

Hamidullin, a former Soviet army tank commander who stayed in Afghanistan in the 1980s and later joined the Taliban, was seized in 2009 after an attack on Afghan border police and US forces.

He was held for five years at Bagram air base before being sent to the US.

During the trial, prosecutors said he had commanded three groups of insurgents that attacked Camp Leyza, Khost province.

They said he had directed insurgents armed with anti-aircraft machine guns to fire at US military helicopters responding to the initial attack. The defendant had also reportedly used a machine gun to shoot at US troops.

Hamidullin’s defence lawyers had tried unsuccessfully to have the charges dismissed, saying their client was a prisoner of war and ineligible for trial in civilian court.

شاهد أيضاً

COPTIC SOLIDARITY LAUNCHES URGENT CALL TO END CRIME OF FORCED DISAPPEARANCE OF COPTIC WOMEN IN EGYPT

A Coptic woman, Ranya Abd al-Masih (“servant of Christ”), 39, disappeared in Egypt on April 22, 2020, …